Economics

The Great American Land Rush of 2020

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The Great American Land Rush of 2020 is underway in many metro areas across the country. Large numbers of American workers are untethered from a central office. As a result many are moving to less dense areas with less expensive land (and homes) and more of both. The greater New York City and Los Angeles metros are the hardest hit. Take NYC where single-family residential land per acre is 24 times as expensive in the densest quintile of zip codes as compared to the least dense quintile ($3.06 million vs. $129,000).  read more »

The Rust Belt's Strange Demographics

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Many Heartland cities continue to suffer the after effects of deindustrialization. One of them is South Bend, Indiana, the former mid-sized automobile manufacturing center home to the now defunct Studebaker.  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

Driving Bounces Back

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The mayor of San Diego wants to spend $177 billion expanding the region’s transit system in order to make San Diego like “Barcelona, Madrid, Paris.” Meanwhile, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris are becoming more like U.S. cities, at least in terms of the transportation habits of their residents.  read more »

The Twilight of Great American Cities is Here. Can We Stop It?

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The dreadful death of George Floyd lit a fire that threatens to burn down America’s cities. Already losing population before the pandemic, our major urban centers have provided ideal kindling for conflagration with massive unemployment, closed businesses and already rising crime rates.  read more »

How Race Politics Burns Out

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No future awaits those who rage against family, work, and community.

Where there is no bread, there is no Law. Where there is no Law, there is no bread.

— Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah
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Slower Municipality Growth in China: 2010-2019

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China, which many see as the exemplar of rapid urban growth, is accelerating its own shift towards greater dispersion.

During the 2000s, the largest municipalities (formerly called prefectures) of China grew very quickly. Much of this was a result of an increasing “floating population,” people who moved to the cities from rural areas for employment, especially in factories producing goods for export and in construction. Between 2000 and 2010, according to the China Statistical Yearbook: 2019, the floating  read more »

California's Woke Hypocrisy

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No state wears its multicultural veneer more ostentatiously than California. The Golden State’s leaders believe that they lead a progressive paradise, ushering in what theorists Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca call “a new progressive era.” Others see California as deserving of nationhood; it reflects, as a New York Times columnist put it, “the shared values of our increasingly tolerant and pluralistic society.”  read more »

Restart, Reset, Retool, Refill

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Considerations for downtowns, commercial corridors, and main streets

We are at the end of the beginning. There are going to be closures, vacancies, and job losses across communities. How long and how deep will be a function of how well the next three-to-six months are managed  read more »

High Speed Rail: Yesterday's Tech Tomorrow

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One of the candidates for president in this November’s election is known by the nickname, “Amtrak Joe.” The Democratic-controlled House wants to triple federal funding for intercity passenger trains.  read more »